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The New Arab Staff

Israel fires missiles at targets near Syria's Aleppo as tensions soar

Syrian state media said that regime air defences intercepted the Israeli missiles [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 September, 2020

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Reports of Israeli attacks on Aleppo, the country’s second-largest city, located north of Syria and close to the Turkish border, are rare.

Israeli warplanes struck targets near the Syrian city of Aleppo in the early hours of Friday morning, Syrian state media reported, following a spate of airstrikes on Syria in recent weeks.

The missiles fired at random targets in the southeastern Aleppo town of al-Safirah, the site of a former regime weapons factory. There has been no report of casualties so far.

Israel offered no comment on the reported strikes, in keeping with its long-standing policy of maintaining silence concerning its military activities in Syria.

Reports of Israeli attacks on Aleppo, the country’s second-largest city, located north of Syria and close to the Turkish border, are rare.

According to the Syrian state news agency SANA, most of the Israeli missiles were intercepted by regime air defences before reaching their targets.

Last week, state media made a similar claim, saying that regime air defenses had downed "a number of missiles" launched by "aircraft belong to the Israeli enemy" which targeted an air base in central Syria.

Hours later, presumed Israeli air strikes on sites near two cities east of the country killed 16 Iran-backed fighters, according to a war monitor.

Both strikes on September 2 came two days after an Israeli assault on southern Syria killed one civilian, three regime troops and seven fighters from foreign militias allied to the Assad regime.

The strikes hit regime positions south of Damascus as well as positions belonging to Iran-backed paramilitaries, including fighters of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, in the southern province of Daraa, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Read more: Israel launches new airstrikes on Iranian targets in southern Syria

Israel has carried out hundreds of air and missile strikes on Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces, as well as government troops.

Iran has been a stalwart ally of the Syrian regime throughout the war, sending thousands of allied militias to fight on President Bashar al-Assad's side.

Israel views Iran as a regional menace and has vowed to counter any Iranian military buildup in Syria, particularly near the frontier.

Israel officials fear that Hezbollah is trying to establish facilities to produce precision-guided missiles as tensions rise along the Israel-Lebanon border.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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